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Cognitive Neuroscience

The Cognitive Neuroscience program is intended for students who wish to study the underlying neural systems of cognitive processes. It provides a strong background in both systems-level neuroscience and cognitive psychology and allows students to develop integrative research interests that cross domains. Research includes a range of topics and methodologies aimed at understanding mechanisms of behavior in laboratory animals and human subjects. Drug use and addictive behaviors are a key focus. Levels of analysis include cellular function, animal behavior, and human substance use. Methodologies include electrochemical measurements, chemogenetics, neuronal cell culture, psychopharmacology, analytical chemistry, quantitative modeling of cognitive functions and decision-making, and fMRI.

Statement on Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity

The University of Kentucky, The Department of Psychology and the Cognitive Neuroscience graduate program are committed to learning and working environments that are diverse, inclusive, and equitable for students, staff, and faculty. We stand in solidarity with those working to confront systemic racial injustice in our communities and in the United States. We recognize the disproportionate burden of racism and other forms of violence on many within our  community during this time. We affirm our support of faculty, students, staff, and alumni in standing against all forms of racism, discrimination, and bias.

Career Paths in Cognitive Neuroscience

Students with training in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Kentucky often find employment in academics (both large state schools and small regional colleges), as faculty or post-doctoral researchers; the pharmaceutical industry; the Federal government (the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Food and Drug Administration); and the private sector (biotechnology industries, public policy organizations, charitable foundations).   The broad-range of training opportunities in the Cognitive Neuroscience graduate program allow for students to customize their own curriculae to best prepare them for their desired career path.

Examples of Career Paths of Recent Cognitive Neuroscience Graduate Program Graduates:

Patrick Mulholland, Ph.D.- Professor, Department of Neuroscience, Medical University of South Caroline

Rachel Self, Ph.D.- Medical Science Liason, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals

Tracy Butler, PhD.- Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Dayton

Sarah Maggio, Ph.D. -  Psychological Health & Resilience Deputy Portfolio Manager, Military Operational Medicine Research Program, United States Department of the Army

Jennifer Berry Lumaude, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Butler University

Justin Yates, Ph.D. - Professor, Department of Psychology, Northern Kentucky University of Kentucky

Beth Ann Rice, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Slippery Rock University

Lynda Sharrett-Field, Ph.D. - Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Neuroscience B.S. Program, University of Kentucky

Anna Reynolds, Ph.D. - Clinical Research Scientist, PRA Health Services


Feedback from Current Cognitive Neuroscience Graduate Students:

Why did you decide to apply to the Cognitive Neuroscience Graduate Program at the University of Kentucky ?

     "I like the interdisciplinary nature of the faculty, they study rodents, birds and humans..."  Jennifer B.

     "I believe that I am set up very well for my career after I leave UK", "I like that we have a lot of contact with other departments other than Psychology"  Koby S.


 Program Handbook and Curriculum


Information for Prospective Stutdents may be found here and a FAQ about the application process and admissions is available here.

If you have questions about the application process, please contact Tamra Nowitzki:, 859-257-9640